As the fastest growing economy in the EU, with a highly competitive corporate tax rate of 12.5% and a well-educated, young workforce (50% of the population is under the age of 35), Ireland is the obvious choice as the European base within which to do business.
Moreover, Ireland is a particularly attractive environment for food and producers and manufacturers, as well as being a hub for information technology and e-business. An illustration of this is the fact that studies show that the value of Irish food and drink exports increased by 4% in 2014 – a sure sign that Ireland is internationally recognised as a top choice for food importers.
As a member of the EU, Ireland has access to Europe’s 500 million consumers, is a member of the Eurozone and exports to 145 markets worldwide – a vast potential market for budding food producers and manufacturers in Ireland.
Ireland was ranked by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland as the number 1 destination for US foreign direct investment and by Forbes as one of the top 5 countries within which to do business in 2015.
In terms of food technology, safety and sustainability, Enterprise Ireland (the government agency in Ireland responsible for supporting Irish businesses) has invested €140 million in various projects over the last four years, including R&D and job creation. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is specifically tasked with protecting the safety of Irish food, whilst Origin Green, based in Ireland, is the only internationally recognised sustainability programme in the world that operates on a national scale.
As regards technology and skilled labour, Ireland has the highest percentage of science and engineering graduates in the OECD and is number one in the world for the availability of skilled labour.
It is apparent, therefore, that Ireland is a prime location for any business and, particularly, a business dealing in food produce hoping to set up a new base.